CSU, CofC honor award winners

Charleston Southern senior Christian Reyes was named as the 2015 recipient of the Hunter Cup, presented to CSU’s top student-athlete, and seniors Saah Nimley and Marketa Placha were named the 2014-2015 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, highlighting CSU’s 49th annual Athletic Awards Banquet.

Senior Jennifer Giles was named the winner of the R.L. Wynn Christian Leadership Award, and senior Paul Gombwer was named the Michael Frost Christian Athlete Award recipient.

Reyes will receive the Hunter Cup at CSU commencement ceremonies this May thanks to his work in the areas of Christian leadership, community service, athletics and academics.

Reyes was voted to the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Football Team last November. On the field, Reyes capped his career as Charleston Southern’s all-time leading rusher, running for 2,200 yards in just 24 games as a Buccaneer.

Nimley recovered from injury to lead Charleston Southern to its second Big South regular-season championship in the last three years. Nimley was named Big South Player of the Year and an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American after finishing fifth nationally in both scoring average and 3-pointers per game.

Nimley led the Big South in both categories, and capped his career as the only player in the league’s 31-year history to tally more than 1,800 points and 500 assists. He left his name all over the CSU record book as well, departing as the program’s all-time leader in assists and made free throws. Nimley also ranks second in Charleston Southern history in threes, and third in scoring.

Placha led Charleston Southern to its first Big South women’s tennis championship and back-to-back regular-season championships, clinching the final point in the championship match against Coastal Carolina. The senior is the reigning two-time Big South Player of the Year and she is a three-time All-Conference Singles selection during her time with the Bucs.

Giles was named the winner of the R.L. Wynn Christian Leadership Award. The seniors received the award for the first time after a standout career on the CSU softball team where she set Buccaneer career records in strikeouts and appearances, and the CSU single season record for appearances in 2013.

Gombwer received the Michael Frost Christian Athlete Award. He earned Big South All-Academic Team honors for a second straight year, and is set to graduate this May holding a 3.47 GPA as a sociology major. On the court, Gombwer started all 32 games and helped CSU claim its second Big South regular-season championship in three years.

Team award winners and 100 seniors across all 21 varsity sports and support groups were honored at the College of Charleston Athletics #CougAwards Banquet sponsored by The Cougar Club on Tuesday night at TD Arena.

MVP Award recipients included Mackenzie Johnston of men’s cross country, Trish Rein of women’s cross country, Leland Archer of men’s soccer, Jenny Falcone of women’s tennis, Will Ryan of men’s swimming and diving, Jayme Groth of women’s swimming and diving, Hope Walker of women’s soccer, Charlie Ghriskey of men’s tennis, Isabel Duane of cheer, Zach Munroe of men’s golf; and Laura Fuenfstueck of women’s golf.

The CofC sailing team won the 2015 Cougar Cup, which is presented annually to the team with the most participation points in the NCAA Student-Athlete Development commitment areas of athletic excellence, academic excellence, personal development, career development and service.

C.C. Buford of women’s golf and Clerc Cooper of sailing were both honored as co-winners of the prestigious J. Stewart Walker Cup, which the highest award given by the athletics department to a deserving student-athlete. The award is named after J. Stewart Walker, Jr., a 1978 CofC graduate, who was very active in athletics until his death in 1983.